“Krampus” is a Christmas themed horror-comedy based off of the German urban legend of Krampus, the anti-Santa Clause. In urban legend Krampus would punish bad German children during the holiday season.
In the movie, a dysfunctional family comes together to enjoy Christmas. This family is comprised of comedy legends such as Adam Scott, David Koechner, and Conchata Ferrel.
The movie opens to a snowy December day, the parents Tom Engel (Adam Scott) and Sarah Engel (Toni Collette) are awaiting the arrival of their obnoxious relatives to celebrate Christmas. Their son Max, has a firm belief in Santa Clause and writes him a letter. Max asks Santa to repair his parents marriage, to give his older sister Beth more time to spend with family, and to help out his uncle’s and aunt’s family. His cousins find this letter and make fun of Max, starting a fight between the two sides of the family. Max goes to his bedroom after the fight, and tears up his letter and throws it out of the window. By doing this, Max unknowingly summons the spirit of Krampus.
The family awakes the next morning to a harsh blizzard and no power connecting to the house, or any neighboring houses. Beth decides to walk a few blocks down in the storm to check on her boyfriend.On her walk the storm picks up even more and she encounters Krampus. Beth realizes that Krampus is after her and hides under a car in which one of Krampus’ minions kills her.
In the scenes following, the family worries about Beth, pushing the two men of the house to venture outside. During their venture into the blizzard the two men finally realize what demonic figures they are up against. Upon their return to their to the house they try to keep the family calm, but have a hard time keeping themselves together.
Once the secret of the danger outside is revealed to the family, Omi, the grandmother (Krista Stadler) tells the entire family about her experience in the past with Krampus. She explains that when she was little during the great depression, much like Max, she gave up on the spirit of Christmas and wished that her parents would leave her alone. Krampus fulfilled this wish by bringing his demonic helpers and taking them from her life.
Omi goes on to say that Krampus is coming to wreak havoc once again. This allows tensions to build within the family, when Krampus’ various helpers sneak their way into the blockaded house. Including an over sized Jack in the Box eating children, knife throwing ginger bread men, and elves who kidnap children. All leading up to the family’s confrontation with the bane of Saint Nicholas -Krampus. Omi realizes their doomed fate and tells the last bit of the family to try and escape while she sacrifices herself.
At the end of the movie the only surviving family members, Max and his cousin are confronted by Krampus. He receives a bell, signifying that his wish was granted (to make his family go away).
But soon after, Max yells at Krampus that he wishes to take his wish back and go back to the way everything used to be. He says that Krampus should take him and return his family. Krampus then takes not only Max, but also his cousin.
Although, when all is thought to be lost, an alarm bell wakes up a startled, confused Max. He runs into the living room to see his perfectly normal family.
Throughout the entirety of this movie family members are killed in gruesome and cynical ways, adding an essence of horror to the film. The movie is also able to integrate very comedic scenes, like the opening scene where Max gets in a fight with his fellow students in the midst of a school play or when the the masculine uncle is almost defeated by a group of ginger bread men.
Just like movies such as, “It Follows,” and “The Visit,” “Krampus” is able to reinvent the horror genre into something much more creative than a typical haunted house story. Any person who is a fan of horror, comedy, and holiday movies should see “Krampus.”
Tickets to “Krampus” can be found at fandango.com and ticketmaster.com.